Monday, July 14, 2008

Meetings

I don't like calling meetings. Perhaps the word is too formal for me. Meeting suggests moderation, agendas, votes, reports, and refreshments. And while each of these is necessary, the refreshments are the only immediate payoff. Empty calories don't wait for a nomination.

My despair with meetings is reasonable: talking about issues doesn't intrinsically effect them.
"Meetings. Don't we love meetings? Every day. Twice a day. We talk... I bet if I blew the conch this minute, the'd come running. Then we'd be, you know, very solemn, and someone would say we ought to build a jet, or a submarine, or a TV set. When the meeting was over they'd work for five minutes, then wander off..." (Golding, Lord of the Flies; 51).
Talking requires doing. Faith, James says, is no different. Thus, I can talk until I'm blue in the face about sound equipment and building modifications, but the discussion doesn't manifest a mixing board and contractor. That requires a second step: a service order. Furthermore, talking is always in community; doing is often in isolation. (The inverse, of course, would be lunacy and co-dependency.)

I read in isolation. I pray in isolation. I prepare sermons and activities and outreach events in isolation. But if I call a meeting, there is a quorum. People love to gather. I need a conch.

Actually, I just need to ask people to do with me.

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